Manns. Diagnosis and management of autoimmune hepatitis. Hepatology 2010 vol:51 iss:6 pg:2193 -213
Autoimmune hepatitis is a generally unresolving inflammation of the liver and of unknown cause. A working model for its pathogenesis hypothesizes that environmental triggers a failure of immune tolerance mechanisms, along with a genetic predisposition collaborate to induce a T cell–mediated immune attack upon liver antigens, causing a progressive necroinflammatory and fibrotic process in the liver. Onset is frequently insidious with nonspecific symptoms including fatigue, jaundice, nausea, abdominal pain, or arthralgias. Diagnosis is based on histologic abnormalities, characteristic clinical and laboratory findings, abnormal levels of serum globulins, and the presence of one or more characteristic autoantibodies.